OSLO, Norway – Twelve exploration wells were completed across the Norwegian continental shelf during the first half of 2020, according to a review by the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate (NPD).
Five led to discoveries: three in the North Sea and two in the Norwegian Sea. The largest was Wintershall Dea’s Bergkampf in license PL 836 S, in the Åsgard area.
The NPD expects around 30 exploration wells to be drilled across the shelf this year, down from 58 in 2019.
“We've noted that as many as 12 exploration wells have been postponed for operational and preparedness reasons in connection with the ongoing pandemic,” said director Exploration, Torgeir Stordal.
Two new fields have come onstream, both subsea tiebacks operated by Aker BP. Skogul is tied into the Alvheim FPSO in the North Sea via the Vilje field subsea infrastructure, while Ærfugl in the Norwegian Sea is being developed in two phases as a tie-in to the Skarv FPSO.
So far this year, 84 new development wells have been drilled on Norwegian fields, close to last year’s level.
Presently 18 development projects are under way: 12 in the North Sea, five in the Norwegian Sea, and one in the Barents Sea, ranging from minor discoveries harnessing existing infrastructure to large-scale improved recovery projects on mature fields.
But progress could be delayed by COVID-19 restrictions, the NPD warned, i.e. the use of foreign labor and limits on the number of people in a workplace.
The NPD estimates total investments for these projects at over NOK300 billion ($32.9 billion), with combined recoverable resources of more than 833 MMcmoe. In addition, around 100 discoveries are under evaluation.
Submissions should follow later in the year for the Breidablikk, Troll electrification, Gråsel and Blåbjørn-Lysing projects.
At the end of February, Repsol shut down the Gyda field in the North Sea after more than three decades in service. The field had produced for more than 10 years more than had been expected when the development plan was approved.
The NPD has also received cessation plans have been submitted for Heimdal, Vale and Knarr, all in the North Sea.
Finally, Sval Energi has qualified to be an operator on the Norwegian shelf in the first half of 2020; also under review are applications for pre-qualification as licensee or operator from JAPEX, NCS E&P, Edge Petroleum, M West Energy, Antares Norge, Horisont Energi, and HAV Energy.